Thursday, April 19, 2012


Most of my creative juices have been going into preparations for a ladies' banquet at our church.  I'm going to speak about God's incredible love and my mind is popping with more ideas than I can squeeze into twenty minutes...there's just no end to His greatness!  If I don't share, I might burst!  ;-)

Everything is making me think of what it means to be one of His kids.  Take this fairly well-known picture:

The leader of a major world power deals with matters of state while his son plays at his feet...  Anyone else desiring an audience must fill out paperwork, pass stringent security tests, and wait for an appointed time...but not his son.

Makes me think of my Papa God.  He can deal with all the big stuff and He still has time for me too.  No formalities required.  That was all taken care of when He made me His.  I belong there in His presence.  He invites us to enter boldly, to run in with all the exuberance of a child who is confident of their Papa's love.

So let's walk right up to him
and get what he is so ready to give.
Take the mercy, accept the help.

Hebrews 4:16 MSG

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Memory Lane

I stood in the card aisle wondering what on earth is wrong with me?  None of the cards said the right thing!  They must say the right thing for somebody…after all, they’re selling.  I finally found a good one and bought it.  Next day it dawned on me that it’s the same card I bought last year.  Clearly, Hallmark only has one writer that does “us.”  I’m going to save that card for a few years because neither one of us seem to remember things like we used to...  It’ll seem like a whole new card then!  

It's my mom's birthday.  I really want to bless her.  The best way I know to do that is to recount the best memories.  The ones that I pull out of my mental treasure chest from time to time.  I'll share some of those memories with you too and maybe it'll encourage you on your parenting journey...

First best memory:  Watching mom get ready to go on a date with Dad.  A little clutch purse I didn’t remember seeing before with makeup inside!  She didn’t wear makeup every day.  I remember standing with wide-eyed wonder, watching as she applied blue eye shadow and Coty lipstick.  It was so wonderful!  Mom was so excited and happy.  She taught me that day that going on a date with your husband is sort of sacred, worthy of time and effort.  Mom taught me that making yourself lovely is a gift to him and yourself.

A vivid, very precious memory is of one day after Kevin [my adoptive brother who has FAS] woke up from his nap.  He just wanted to lie on the floor with his face on Mom's rabbit-skin-slipper-clad feet.  We sat there quietly watching this sleepy little broken boy absorb comfort.  She taught me something about mother love that day that I could not describe in words, but that filled my heart right to the top.

And what’s a mother-daughter relationship without playing dressup with mom’s shoes and clothes…?  Dads are great for tickling and motorcycle rides, but they’re no use at all when it comes to developing a sense of style!

Which leads me to the memory of the day Mom took me to Halifax all by myself.  No siblings.  She let me ride the escalator up and down and then again.  We bought a little sweater with a girl blowing bubbles embroidered on the front.  I felt so special that day.  Every time I remember that day I remember the importance of slowing down and doing life at kid speed.

Mom taught me to love and appreciate nature.  So many memories of hiking and skiing and hunting mayflowers.  She showed me that a walk in the woods can be an act of worship.

The most important thing Mom taught me was, without question, to always, always turn to God.  Life can be rough.  Stuff happens.  It can come from all directions.  Always turn to God.  Always.

As I write a new chapter on the hearts of another generation, I realize that we moms can’t ever, won’t ever, get it all right.  What does matter is the love we’re writing on our children’s hearts.

Even though the number is taking some getting used to, today I shout out the joy, “My mom is 70!”  Here with us.  Still writing her story on our hearts.

Her children stand and bless her...

Proverbs 31:28a 


Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Days in Between

This day in between Good Friday and Easter Sunday...  I always think of the disciples, devastated and grieving, beyond heartbroken.

They didn't know that it had been a "good" Friday...the beginning of freedom from the chains of sin.  It just looked like the end of all their hopes and dreams.  They didn't know that in one more day their world would be turned completely right side up, that they would burst with a joy that could not be contained, that all of history would shift on its axis, that a revolution would be launched.

There's been a theme running through my posts of late about the waiting time between the promise and the fulfilment.

It's the not knowing that can become our undoing.  Not knowing when/if the waiting will ever end.

The disciples didn't know what we know...

The ability to hold on comes from remembering what we know.

While you wait...for the long hard things...when your faith is absolutely stretched...peer into the empty tomb.  Gaze at the neatly folded cloth that wrapped His head.  Breathe deeply of the sweet scents that anointed Him.  His is risen!!  Death did not and cannot prevail.  Darkness has never and will never overcome Light.

Remember the empty tomb!

The Spirit of God,
who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.
And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead,
he will give life to your mortal bodies
by this same Spirit living within you.

Romans 8:11

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Only one little paper left in my Box of Love this morning, but, oh, what a beautiful benediction we're left with!

Now may the Lord of peace Himself

give me peace

at all times

and in every way.

On this Thursday of Holy Week we remember a King kneeling to wash the filthy feet of imperfect men.  We remember how He broke bread and asked that we remember His body broken for our peace.  Peace in our homes, our marriages, our parenting, our workplaces...peace in a world where there is no peace without Him.  He gave everything for our peace.

When peace is fractured by selfishness...when we shatter the peace with angry or impatient words...when peace unravels because we forget how deeply, truly, profoundly we are's not the end of the story.  He died so that when we fumble, falter, blow it...there's still hope.  When we reach for the gift of the cross, grace floods in and redeems.  Everything.  Anything.  There is nothing so great, strong, or dark that His grace cannot bring beauty out of the ashes of our despair.

When we're weary and feel like we cannot carry on...or ask for grace one more time...He kneels and washes our wandering feet, refreshing our peace.

In this weekend of holy celebrations may you discover His peace in new ways.  For you and for your peace He came and lived and died.  We can hardly comprehend the magnitude of His suffering and we've only begun to experience the depths of what was purchased for us.

I pray you fully embrace His grace in all of your interactions with family and friends.  May you receive the gift of grace He's given and extend it to others.

For Christ himself has brought peace to us.
Ephesians 2:14a

2 Thessalonians 3:16
This post is part of a series Love in a Box

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Asking for Help

"I will call you whenever I'm in trouble,
and you will answer me."

Who among us has not called out in desperation?  And who has not wondered if anyone is listening?

The chunk of time that stretches between the calling and the answer is the battleground.  Will we believe He's already got an answer on the way or will we call Him a liar?  It is only when we are in that place of tension that faith is really faith.  Faith, the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen.  Faith, the thing that pleases God.

In that no-man's land of waiting and wondering...when we declare that He is good and faithful and that we believe, we stir pleasure in the heart of the God of the universe.  He knows what it's like to live in human skin and not be able to see past the end of our noses.  He knows.  And the audience of heaven cheers us on. 

We call and He answers.  This is my story.  I know it is true.  He rescued me in a huge and eternal way from a life of hopelessness.  He daily rescues me from trouble.  Because He is good and full of love.

O Lord, you are so good
so ready to forgive,
so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.

No pagan god is like you, O Lord.
None can do what you do!

Psalm 86:5-7
Hebrews 11 & 12
This post is part of a series Love in a Box

Monday, April 2, 2012

Joy made Full

Today's little scrap of paper was smaller than the others, tightly folded...

I ask and receive and my joy is made full.

I ask. A lot. I receive...sometimes.  My it full?  I have lots, but I think there's still room for more.

I've been pondering the big questions of unanswered prayer a lot lately.  Seeking words adequate to describe trust when the answers aren't neatly packaged in a little box and adorned with a perfect bow.

In my own life I've gone through times of such profound pain and disappointment that I shut out, blamed, even accused the One who was my only source of hope.  

We can get sad, mad, hurt, frustrated, angry, disappointed, distressed, depressed when He doesn't enter our circumstances in the way we want Him to, when it looks like He hasn't done what He promised.  He promised a way to escape temptation, but I just want to escape reality.

We block Him out or say He isn't real because He doesn't dance to our tune or rescue us according to our plan.

Yet all the walls built to block out the pain of disappointment also block out the light.  The hope.  Even those disappointed places, especially those disappointed places, must be surrenderd to Him if I want to be filled full with joy...

So many mysteries, so many complexities, that don't fit into the neat little columns and boxes I adore.  Yet I always come back to the fact that He is huge and full of love.  Trustworthy.  He hung the stars and keeps the planets in their orbit.  He can handle the details of my life.  I can trust even when things don't make sense.

He says to ask...He invites us to ask.  He promises we will receive all that we need...and then some.  My joy is full and when I trust that He is answering and providing all that I need.  Even when it doesn't come in the package I was looking for.

And this same God who takes care of me
will supply all your needs from his glorious riches
which have been given to us in Christ Jesus

Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever!

John 16:24
Philippians 4:19-20
This post is part of a series Love in a Box